Win made sacrifice worth it, says Ipape


THE 1895 Cup final man of the match, Edwin Ipape says he is doing it tough with his wife and son back home in Papua New Guinea, but occasions like Saturday make the sacrifice worthwhile in England.
The PNG Kumuls utility scored a try, and caused consternation in the Featherstone defence every time he went from dummy-half after coming off the bench in the 30-16 win.
And a glorious day at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was capped by the Ray French Award for the player of the match followed by the horde of travelling Leythers singing his name.
“It was amazing and something that does not come often and especially to do it with these blokes here,” the former SP Hunter and Lae Tiger said.
“It was unreal to come here and hear the fans singing my name.
“It is a really special day.
“They appreciate you and your time here.

“ It was unreal to come here and hear the fans singing my name. It is a really special day. They appreciate you and your time here. It has not sunk in yet, but I will enjoy this.”
Former SP Hunter Edwin Ipape celebrating after scoring Leigh’s fourth try in the Centurions’ 30-16 win over of Featherstone Rovers in the 1895 Cup final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in England on Saturday (local time). – centurionspics

“It has not sunk in yet, but I will enjoy this.
“We have stuck together in training, through the bad and good games, and it is just an amazing feeling.”
Prior to the game, the Centurions arranged for Ipape to be sent a video message, which caught him off guard.
But it helped to inspire him.
“We have had an emotional week leading up to the game – especially for myself being away from my family and sacrificing a lot to come here,” Ipape said.
“My family are home in PNG.
“The day before the game, they sent a video from home which was emotional.
“I came out here to do it for them, my wife, son, mum and dad.
“I have done them proud.
“It has been a rough road and things have not been easy, but I have kept my head down and worked extremely hard at training.
“To come here to the other side of the world and to do it on this big stage means a lot.”

PNG international Edwin Ipape with his man-of-the-match award.

There must be something about this fixture for PNG – it is 25 years since Kumuls legend Stanley Gene scored three tries and was named as the man of the match in the Silk Cut Plate final that was played before the 1997 Challenge Cup final.
But Ipape was not taking individual credit for his own display in a solid all-round team performance – with the halves busy and managing the game well behind a big pack that laid a solid platform.
Agile, fleet-fotted and strong, Ipape excelled against the Featherstone pack.
“Credit to all the big boys in the middle for doing the hard yards and giving me the quick play-the-balls,” he said.
“I am playing off what they are laying.
“I had a clear mind coming into this game and I knew what I was going to do.”
The win over Rovers, who beat them earlier in the campaign, gives them a huge psychological boost as they now focus on the big prize of Super League promotion.

Utility Edwin Ipape celebrating the Centurions’ maiden 1895 Cup final triumph.

They will play each other again two or three times before the year is out – fixtures that will determine who makes England’s top flight.
“There is a lot of rivalry between the sides and the build-up coming into this game,” Ipape said.
“We are going to get a lot out of this game and grow as a group.
“This is the first step forward.
“We will back ourselves going for the big one at the end of the year.”
– leighjournal